Shift Control Technology

Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011 in UEA Blog

Here at UEA we are actively growing our shift quadrant technologies and broadening our application horizons.  To steal a line from a favorite childhood TV series, shift quadrants-there’s more than meets the eye.  The controls in a piece of equipment, be it a car, tractor, crane or anything else is the defining interface between Man and machine.  A consistent and reliable ‘feel’ for how the machine reacts to our input is what allows us to adapt to the machines capabilities, and overtime increase efficiency and reduce wear and tear on the equipment.

I recall running a Bobcat Skid-steer at a golf course a number of years back.  This particular piece of machinery was very old and beat up.  The hydraulic controls had lost all of its ‘feel’.  Moving the bucket up and down and rolling it forward was painful, as it either moved at full speed or not at all.  This increased fatigue on the operator, and wear on the machine.  Compare that to more modern equipment with advanced controls and feedback, the operator can almost become one with the machine.  Designing a ‘feel’ into our shift controls is something that we take seriously at UEA.

Another aspect of shift controls that takes more forethought on the design end is how we perceive the control should function.  I am sure we can all agree that when we are trying to operate something that we are not familiar with it can be very frustrating when a control appears to twist, pull or slide in a certain direction, only to find its real operation is completely un-intuitive.  When a shift quadrant is designed here at UEA, intuitiveness is fundamental to the overall design.  We strive to make our controls simple, intuitive, and robust.  You can count on UEA to provide you with shift controls that will hold up to years of trouble free service.

-Brady Haugo, Engineer